TMR: New ‘Transformers 2’ clip, ‘Tom Swift,’ and ‘Avatar’ Q&A

06.01.09 8 years ago

Paramount Pictures

Welcome to The Morning Read.

And, no, I’m not just going to spend the morning reposting moments from the MTV Movie Awards, because I don’t watch the MTV Movie Awards.  I know they employ many funny writers and performers each year, but (A) the awards mean nothing to me and (B) I did not, alas, adore “Twilight,” so watching the halftime show for this year’s release of the sequel is not something I’d spend two hours on.  My esteemed colleague Dan live-blogged the show, and he did it with a better sense of humor and patience than I would ever be able to muster for the event, so if you’d like to read some well-honed snark about a very silly show, check out what he wrote.

Instead, let’s see what else is going on out there.  First up, congratulations to a friend, BenDavid Grabinski, who has just been handed a potential franchise in the form of Tom Swift.  And when I say “handed,” I mean, “Damn, that’s a good idea and he and Barry Sonnenfeld together musta looked pretty tasty to the studio.”  They are, after all, making “The How-To Guide For Saving The World” together, a well-liked entry on last year’s Black List.  Tom Swift is a property that’s been around longer than modern pop culture.  Seriously.  The first book was in 1910.  There were several different reboots of the character and the premise over the years.  It’s been written by about a bajillion people, originally published under the name “Victor Appleton.”  The original incarnation is probably the least like what Grabinski and Sonnenfeld are going to do.

[more after the jump]

In fact, tonight on Twitter after the news broke, BenDavid specifically said that he thinks of this as his chance to write “Transformers.”  He is an unabashed fan of the original and dying to see the sequel, and I know why.  I can imagine what he’s going to do with the Tom Swift and Tom Swift Jr, genius family adventurers and inventors premise.  Big.  Crazy.  Wild science and inventions.  Honestly… it’s a really wide open piece of source material, and what’s most amazing is that it’s never been done.  It’s not a reboot.  It’s not a remake.  It’s never been adapted to film.  They’re not wrestling with anyone else’s interpretation of the material.  So whatever they do… they’re first.  Knowing how pop culture works, there are things that are part of the Tom Swift character (or characters, depending on what they draw from) that has shown up elsewhere, to the point where it’s going to feel now like Tom Swift is borrowing from other things.  Whatever the case, I think it’s a golden opportunity, and I’m curious to see how it comes together.

And speaking of… have you seen the latest clip from “Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen”?  There’s one shot in particular, a “continuous” camera move, that features giant robots, little sneaky robots, and a clever move through a keyhole that is fairly impressive.  I’m digging the look of all the Bayhem, and here’s the clip so you can decide for yourselves:

I will refrain from making Homer Simpson noises in regards to Miss Fox… or those crazy giant robot effects… until opening night of the movie.  I’m saving them up for both.

Also in the realm of news about new ventures, let me steer any of you interested in comics at all to the brand-new, courtesy of Rich Johnston of “Lying In The Gutters,” a long-running news and rumor column about comics.  He is the definition of an internet veteran, and he’s consistently been one of the best voices in comics journalism.  He knows everyone and everything, seemingly, and I’m sure that will continue to be the case in this new venture.  And it looks like he’s going to be bringing in other smart and able voices as well, which could turn this into a daily bookmark for me.  I don’t read comics as much as I used to, but I love reading about them, and then buying stacks of trades all at once when something’s wrapped up.  And I have a feeling I’ll make notes as I read this site about things I’ll be adding to my shelves soon enough.  For example… their top story this morning… if that works out… that is something I’m absolutely reading.

This is, potentially speaking and pun fully intended, a monster hit just waiting to happen.  And like a four-dimensional hit, too, if they time everything just right.

The boys at MarketSaw, which is pretty much the one-stop shop for the 3D obsessive right now, have a fantastic 43-minute Q&A from Friday night’s double-feature screening of “Aliens” and “The Abyss” in 70MM at the Aero Theater in Santa Monica.  James Cameron showed up to talk, and this is the result.  Really… if you care about “Avatar” or Cameron at all, you have to listen to this.  It’s great in general, but Cameron’s very forthcoming in some ways.  The stuff about the aspect ratio is fascinating (it’s be 1.85:1 in 3D, and 2.35:1 in 2D), but the whole 45 minutes is great.

And his “Terminator” comments are, um…

Y’know, also on the MarketSaw site, there’s a piece about the possibility of “Avatar” making a debut at Monday’s Ubisoft presentation at E3, which will be broadcast live online.  If that’s true, that would be mighty crafty of Cameron.  And he does say in that Q&A above, when asked how long until we’re going to see something from the film, a maddeningly pleased “Verrrry soon.”  What if he meant today?  Now I’m tuning in for that Ubisoft presentation no matter what.

Oh, this is just too deliciously silly not to embed:

Steven Sommers, you’re a madman.  And how is it that no one at Paramount, THE STUDIO THAT MADE “TEAM AMERICA” thought to tell him that his big set piece IS DIRECTLY OUT OF “TEAM AMERICA”?  No matter… that looks postively deranged.  I know it’s not the show you watched as kids, fanboy nation, but I watched that three times and laughed all the way through it all three times.  It looks like the $150 million version of “Mega-Shark Versus Giant Octopus.”  Count me in.

Devin Faraci, a man who grumbles about lists, made a pretty good list this weekend.

And on that note, I’m off.  I’ve got stuff for you all day, and then some “Land Of The Lost” interviews coming up this week.

The Morning Read appears here every day, Monday through Friday.  Except when it doesn’t.

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